In the quiet of the snowstorm’s aftermath and it’s ‘mounds of extra insulation’, (yes I missed our Feb 1 deadline) I heard the most surprising thing. It was just at dawn, a sound I felt like I had not heard in years (read months) an early morning bird call. It was so surprising and unexpected as I lay in bed awaking rom deep sleep, I had not the chronic feeling of dread but a feeling of hope. That simple, short, sweet bird chirp reminded me that Spring is on its way, even though Punxsutawney Phil, tells ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’.
We’re all in utter amazement and bewilderment that we’re quickly approaching a year from when our lives and the world changed beyond our wildest imaginations or emotional resources. While I pray that we will look back on this time in the future with some hidden blessings and gifts, I’m not sure we’re there yet. But even though we’re not, God is.
We’re approaching the season of Lent; a time of reflection, repentance, and renewal. The worship committee and our tech pals (Kim and Dan) are feverishly working on how we can make yet another historically intimate service meaningful while apart and not yet fully A/V equipped. We will do our best to help you launch into Lent meaningfully. We’re also finishing up our 5th annual Lenten devotional which can be accessed daily via Facebook and our website and can be emailed in a PDF or snail-mailed for those who like to have the booklet.
As hard as the last year has been on all of us, Lent can be a helpful and hopeful harbinger of good things to come. For some, it may be an invitation to a deepening of our faith journey after a rough year of ‘just getting by’. For some, it may be an invitation to return to more regular faith practices after a hiatus from worship and prayer. For some, it may be a gentle awakening to more positive things to focus on as we gain more daylight, increasingly warmer temperatures, and using the mental and spiritual muscles we didn’t have a year ago.
For sure, God is about to bring us to light out of the darkness, hope out of despair, peace out of chaos, and surprises that are still unearthed, literally and figuratively. As a reminder, the word Lent in Latin Quadragesima, means 40 days. The old English shortened the word Lencten which means “Spring Season”.
I know of a woman in our faith community, who last fall, decided instead of being fully dragged down by the weight of Covid times, decided to plant hope for the spring. She literally planted tulip bulbs in their garden to spell out her husband’s name! (Thankfully, it’s not Rumpelstiltskin) She has no idea how it will all go, or how they will bloom or spell. But she’s delightfully and patiently waiting just to see a new sign of hope and joy.
God too has planted bulbs for us. We don’t know what they will spell out, only that they come with a message of hope and redemption.
I hope you will listen and look and trust that God has a better future for us than in our past.
We just have to trust and watch and wait for 40 days.
With you in the waiting,